(SOUTH EASTON, Mass.) – Workers in the South Easton area have organized and ratified a first contract at two separate bus companies with the assistance of Local 653.
On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, school bus mechanics at First Student voted to join Local 653 in South Easton, Mass. There are seven workers in the bargaining unit. This victory comes on the heels of 56 drivers and monitors at Lucini Bus Lines voting to ratify their first contract following an organizing victory in May 2016 at the Bridgewater, Mass., transit company. The new agreement contains increases in wages, guaranteed hours and paid holidays.
“Organizing with the Teamsters and ratifying this contract has changed my professional life,” said Melanie Cataldo, a driver with Lucini. “We’re going to get improved safety rules in a legally binding document and will be able to have seniority rights respected when it comes to bidding for routes. I’m very grateful that we decided to unite for better working conditions.”
“Workers in eastern Massachusetts and nationwide are benefitting from Teamster power,” said Tim Brown, Vice President of Local 653. “Workers at Lucini and First Student will now have improvements in writing that drive up standards for the entire transit industry.”
“Congratulations to our new members for sticking together and taking a positive step forward by joining Teamsters Local 653,” said Brian McElhinney, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 653. “Special thanks to the leadership of Joint Council 10 under Sean O’Brien and the Local 653 Executive Board for all of their hard work and assistance in these organizing campaigns.”
The Teamsters’ Drive Up Standards campaign is a global campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the privatized school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, nearly 50,000 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters. For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to www.driveupstandards.org.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.